Return to Table of ContentsPart 1
Tyngval looks up. Surrounding him are Emerson, Elluway, and the senior members of the Council.
"It was HIM," he responds to their inquisitive glances, turning ‘him’ into a curse. "Morgrath. No doubt about it.
"Don’t try using any sort of divination on this area though. He has somehow managed to corrupt the leylines, or maybe just snuck through where they were already corrupted. In any case, it is too dangerous for anyone but me to investigate this further."
"Won’t it be dangerous for you also?" Asks Emerson. "All wizards, sorcerers, warlocks, witches, and oracles pull their power from the leylines. If they are corrupted, as you say, then it would be reckless to use them, and the only beings that I can think of that don’t are djinni, faeries, and the fey- -you aren’t any of those. So, no offense, but what makes you so special?"
"He isn’t a wizard," Elluway says, turning to face Emerson. "He is the Wizard."
Emerson’s face twists up in confusion.
"What do you mean ‘the Wizard’?"
Tyngval stands up slowly, one hand gripping his staff, the other feeling his head for bumps.
"Don’t you know your history, boy?" He finishes straightening up as a fleck of disdain trickles into his voice. "Or is ’The Tale of the Seven’ no longer taught in any of the schools?"
"Yes, but. .." Emerson’s mouth falls open as he realizes what they are saying. "You’re that Tyngval?! the one from the old tales, the being that fought—"
"Enough of that," Tyngval snaps, interrupting, but a smile briefly flickers under his unruly beard. "I know what I’ve done; and now it seems that you do too. Regardless, it’s not just the leylines that are corrupted. He seems to have somehow managed to corrupt space itself: any casting in this area, leyline-powered or otherwise, will put the user at risk."
"So won't you be further endangering yourself?" Emerson continues, adding hastily, "Sir."
"Morgrath is on the loose. He has somehow managed to escape from a prison that doesn't exist yet always is. We have no way of knowing if, from his perspective, a minute or an eon has passed. If it was an eon, that means he has had the time to plan, and his plans were already hard enough to out-think; but if it was a minute, that's worse because it means that he has access to power that is far beyond anything that the rest of us can dream of. Hopefully, I just made some sort of mistake with the incantations or with the bindings, but that is the least likely of all. It also appears that he has now gained the ability to warp space and corrupt the leylines. If I made no mistake with his imprisonment, then I fear that he has somehow figured out how to get around The Contract of Creation. You understand what will happen if that is broken, right?"
Emerson manages a frightened nod, and the senior council members gasp as they realize the implications of his words. Elluway alone looks unfazed.
"To answer your question: yes, I will be endangering myself, but I would be further endangering not only myself, but everyone, if I can't find Morgrath before he breaks the Contract of Creation.
"To that end, I have a message to write and a healer to fetch," Tyngval says, turning to leave. "Give the poor widower a new house, but don't erase his memory yet. Do your best to explain to him what has happened and what is at stake. Show him some magic to help him believe, but for the love of Amastus, do not move anything in this house until I give the all clear."